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Thursday, September 29, 2005

My Beer is Empty and I'm too Drunk to Order Another

It's been a problem of mine ever since I turned 16...err I mean 21. Your hanging out at the local bar and have had 25 too many. You really want another, but that case you just put down in the past 5 hours has impaired your ability to articulate your desires to the bartender.

Two students in Germany have invented a beer mat that knows when a glass is nearly empty and automatically asks for a refill on your behalf. Andreas Butz of the University of Munich and Michael Schmitz from Saarland University came up with the idea while out drinking with their students.

Andreas and Michael say the beer mat could also be used for interactive TV events, as it contains an accelerometer capable of sensing when it is being waved in the air.

"I've been discussing this with a friend of mine who is an expert pub goer," Butz told New Scientist. "He mentioned that the pay-TV companies who broadcast soccer games are desperately looking for ways to make TV an interactive experience. Betting on actual sports events with the mat could add such interactivity."

The researchers believe the smart mat could even be used in pub games: "One important direction which needs further investigation is the large body of drinking games which has developed in certain cultures and how they can be supported using our beer mat."

Today is truly a great day for beer drinkers everywhere. In honor of this history altering invention everyone reading this should cut out of work early today and have a round of beers in honor of our German friends.

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